Recently, a friend of mind had a frustrating evening. She poured a couple hours of work into a task… only to find that it was impossible to successfully complete. Those hours of effort seemed to be completely wasted.
I encouraged her that, when we offer all of our work unto Jesus as a love offering, none of it is wasted. It is registered in heaven as worship. She found that puzzling, and asked, “How can failure be an offering?”
I replied, “It’s not failure when it’s a love offering unto Him. It’s a fragrant, pleasing gift.”
Still puzzled, she asked again, “How does that work exactly? How does ‘not accomplishing something’ turn into a gift?”
So I got to explain something that has become near and dear to my heart:
When we live out Colossians 3:23 (see above), I do deeply believe that absolutely everything we do unto Him is worship. This truth is also highlighted in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (NIV).
Offering our bodies as living sacrifices includes the daily activities of our bodies. When we offer these to Him, this Scripture is clear that it’s a pleasing sacrifice; it pleases His heart.
In fact, maybe it’s even more pleasing worship when we didn’t get the results we wanted… because then in that case, it can become all the more “a sacrifice of praise” when we lift it up to Him in faith as an offering. It’s more of a sacrifice than it would be if we had the satisfaction of tangible results.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name… for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16, NIV, bold emphasis mine).
None of our Scriptures today say anything about the level of His pleasure being tied to the outcome of our activities; or whether there is ‘measurable success’ in the natural realm. Instead, His pleasure is tied to our worshipful heart posture. That’s where the next verse comes in from Romans:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2, NIV). When we offer our bodies and their activities in living sacrifice, Holy Spirit is at work, renewing our mind. As He gives us a new and life-giving way of thinking, we stop measuring the value of things like the world does. No longer are outward, measurable “results” our highest value. Instead, it is giving Jesus everything. Every minute, every hour, every effort. So, even the ones that don’t turn out as we had hoped, we pour out unto Him in worship. In this way, they take on eternal worth and importance. He receives them into His heart as exceedingly precious; as a fragrant offering.
For this reason, truly you and I can be “confident that nothing [we] do for him is a waste of time or effort” (1 Cor. 15:58, MSG, bold emphasis mine). We are storing up treasures in heaven that can never fade away, with each daily act of worshipful living!
Does one kind of activity seem in your mind to be more valuable to God than another? Is it possible that offering our mundane responsibilities up to Him as we do them, could make them precious to His heart?